Delhi court refuses to adjourn JNU case after govt says it will need three months to sanction charge sheet
A Delhi court on Monday refused to adjourn hearing in a 2016 sedition case against former JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar and nine others after a Delhi government prosecutor told the court it needed three months to arrive at a decision on sanctioning the charge sheet.
The court said it would not wait for the sanction and will proceed with the hearings. Rapping the police for filing the charge sheet without a sanction, the court also sought a response from the assigned deputy commissioner of police (DCP).
The Delhi Police told the court that the authorities were yet to give requisite sanctions to prosecute those charge-sheeted in the case. Vikas, the assistant public prosecutor for the state, submitted that he has been instructed by the government to seek a three-month adjournment.
On January 14, the police filed the charge sheet in a city court against Kumar and the others, charging him of leading a procession and supporting “seditious slogans” allegedly raised on campus during an event on February 9, 2016. On January 19, the investigating officer (IO) sought two weeks time to file the sanction for the charge sheet.
Under the Code of Criminal Procedure, investigating agencies have to take the approval or sanction of the state government while filing charge sheets in cases involving sedition. The court rapped the IO for “filing the charge-sheet without obtaining requisite sanction despite there being no urgency.”
The sanction file has been with Delhi home minister Satyendar Jain since January 21.
The court, in the day’s hearing, refused to adjourn the matter on the grounds that there is no assurance regarding the filing of the sanction from the government.
“You (police) could have filed (charge sheet) after procuring sanction only. What was the hurry?” chief metropolitan magistrate Deepak Sherawat said. “I can go ahead with the case,” he added.
A Delhi government spokesperson declined to comment on the matter. According to police, Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and seven others had allegedly raised “anti-India” slogans during the February 9 event.
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